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So, I'm guessing just about everyone here knows that that what would become the American show Voltron: Defender of the Universe was actually two unrelated shows in Japan (side note: it's curious to me that Voltron and Robotech were both born out of the fusion of unrelated anime, yet today fans seem fine with Voltron while Robotech is often shunned in favor of the original Macross).  I don't know how well GoLion and Dairugger XV did in Japan, but it seems like the Lion Voltron (aka Voltron 3, aka Voltron of the Far Universe) was much more popular here than Vehicle Voltron (aka Voltron 1, aka Voltron of the Near Universe).  When I reviewed GX-71 it was easy for me to recall details about the first season of Voltron (and not just because Legendary Defender was a reminder- even when I watched that I was keenly aware of the differences because I remembered the original so well).  Now I'm getting ready to talk about GX-88 and I'm thinking that what I recall best about Vehicle Voltron is that moment of disappointment when I'd tune in and find it wasn't an episode of Lion Voltron.


Aside from the volume of pictures I took and things I want to talk about the toys themselves, this has left me digging through wikis and finding places to watch old episodes to refresh my memory.  So I'm going to talk about GX-88, but I'm going to have to break it up into a few posts.  Today, we're just going to focus on these guys: the Air Team.


First up we have the tiny Command Jet Explorer (aka Rugger 1).  Seems pretty un-aerodynamic to me, but that junk on the bottom is true to the design.  You can fold out the sides to reveal little landing gear.  I don't know if it ever appeared in the cartoon without that junk, but it is removable.


This is the Strato Weapons Module (Rugger 2).  I think this one looks ok, with translucent windows and some missile pods, but the big holes in the front and rear are kind of odd, even if they are accurate.  The treads on this one do roll, although they're a bit stiff.  The raised band is peak late '70s early '80s sci-fi design.  Ultimately, there are some vehicles that look more like vehicles, and some that are some windows and treads tossed on a hunk of robot, and this one falls into the latter category.


The creatively-named Advanced Recon Helicopter and Advanced Recon Helicopter 2 (Rugger 3 and Rugger 4) aren't too bad.  The windows on the tails make me think that they're crew/passenger areas, which is a little weird, they have fins but no tail rotor, and they've got big octagonal blocks on the sides, but they do definitely look like helicopters.  In the box they have small, three-bladed rotors, but larger ones are included in the box.  They also have fold out landing gear.


Last up we have the Falcon Fighter Jet (Rugger 5), which was (and still is) my favorite of the Voltron vehicles.  There's no real compromises for a combined Voltron here, it's just a cool-looking jet.  Like the Command Jet Explorer and the helicopters the Falcon Fighter Jet has landing gear on the underside.


If combining fifteen vehicles into Voltron wasn't enough, a gimmick of the series is that the vehicles in each team could combine into one larger vehicle.  For this, we start by folding turning the treads on the Strato Weapons Module 90 degrees.  Fold in the missile pods and collapse the raised red part.  Then on one side of the module the white square is solid, but the other has a section that collapses shaped just like the back of the Command Jet Explorer.  So, shove the Command Jet Explorer into it (the red rectangle on top of the Strato Weapons module is a button that unlocks them when you take them apart).  On the helicopters, push in on the octanginal protrusions so that one side sticks out a little farther than the other.  That side will get stuffed into one of the holes I complained about on the Weapons Module.


To finish things off, make sure that the landing gear is folded in on the Falcon Fighter, then find and unfold a pair of clips  Around the red rectangle button on the Weapons Module, where the while meets the blue, you'll find a notch on either side that the clips grab onto, giving us the Air Team's Strato Fighter (Kuurugger).  I'm not really sure what the purpose is.  Do the jets and helicopters need to be transported on the ground?  I don't recall if that happened in the cartoon.  You might think that the jets and helicopters could be used to lift the Strato Weapons Module, but (at least in the episode I watched to try to refresh my memory) the Strato Weapons Module can fly by itself.  There aren't any other accessories or gimmicks for this mode, so I'll just leave you to ponder it until tomorrow.


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3 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

(side note: it's curious to me that Voltron and Robotech were both born out of the fusion of unrelated anime, yet today fans seem fine with Voltron while Robotech is often shunned in favor of the original Macross)

Well, Voltron was much bigger than the originals. Also, a lot of the Robotech hate was directly borne of Harmony Gold's anti-Macross statements and maneuvers. Declare war on the fanbase and they turn against you.


3 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

I don't know how well GoLion and Dairugger XV did in Japan, but it seems like the Lion Voltron (aka Voltron 3, aka Voltron of the Far Universe) was much more popular here than Vehicle Voltron (aka Voltron 1, aka Voltron of the Near Universe). 

I think the japanese market can be succinctly summarized as "bombed horribly".

And in America, Lion Voltron was MUCH more popular than Vehicle Voltron, to the extent that World Event Productions abandoned plans to adapt Albegas into a Voltron in favor of commissioning an extra twenty episodes of Lion Voltron from Toei that are not part of Golion.


But Vehicle Voltron is still best Voltron. A robot made out of lions? Ridiculous nonsense! They don't even LOOK like lions!

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19 hours ago, JB0 said:

And in America, Lion Voltron was MUCH more popular than Vehicle Voltron, to the extent that World Event Productions abandoned plans to adapt Albegas into a Voltron in favor of commissioning an extra twenty episodes of Lion Voltron from Toei that are not part of Golion.

This is an extraordinary stroke of luck, too, since when WEP told Toei they'd take "the one with the lion," they'd actually meant Mirai Robo Daltanious.

Edited by mikeszekely
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So, I finally got my copy of Dairugger/Vehicle Voltron.

For those of you that had the original 80's big boy, SOC VV will look and feel so much tinier.  I felt like I needed petite fingers to pop open the landing gears, towers, and some of the transformation parts. :crazy:  And one of the front flaps on my copy's waist/hips likes to pop off.

But I do appreciate all the additional details Bandai added, such as missile silos, working treads on three of the bigger Dairugger vehicles, and retractable landing gears for the Air Team.

But despite being so much smaller, SOC VV (much like Golion) has got some serious heft to it.  SOC VV feels much heavier than the original big 80's toy.


As soon as I got it into fully combined mode, I had to put it through its paces:

Ohhh. . . .






(Almost) SCRUNCH!


Oh so close, but the elbows just can't rotate beyond 90 degrees to complete that memorable post-combination pose-set.


Also tried the following:






Yup, the sword is pretty freakin' huge:


It's so large that it actually scales alright with the original VV toy:


Took awhile, but nice to have both Volties to display now:




Edited by Mog
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Continuing my look at Bandai Soul of Chogokin GX-88 Voltron/Dairugger, this little group is the Sea Team.  While I think there are individual vehicles that look better than these guys I think this is the team that's the least bogged down by a member whose vehicle mode is an afterthought.


We start with this guy, the Communications Module/Rugger 6.  With the chrome antenna on top it sort of looks like a seafaring craft to me, despite the treads on the bottom. The treads don't move, btw.  I suppose the treads were part of the original design, but honestly, I don't think they're needed.


These guys are the Space Prober and Space Prober 2 (Rugger 7 and Rugger 8).  To be fair, they probably did fly in space more than anywhere else in the cartoon, but if you'd asked me as a kid what they were I'm pretty sure I'd have told you they're submarines.  In fact, I'm almost certain they did deploy like subs underwater in at least one episode.  Aside from the holes in their noses, the lack of a hydrodynamic shape, and the lack of obvious propulsion systems they look like subs.


These charming fellows are the Multi-Wheeled Explorer and MWE 2 (Rugger 9 and Rugger 10).  I'm kind of surprised by how much I like these two.  They're like the Guardians Command Center from the Gobots had babies with a Jawa Sandcrawler.  I'm not sure how well they fit the "sea" theme, but I could totally imagine vehicles like this tracking their way along as armored transports.  It helps that there's no obvious holes or ports for combination- the back even has some nice painted tail lights.  The treads on these guys do work, too, probably the best of the set.  Note that the chrome antenna on these guys are removable.


Now that we've looked at all five vehicles it's time to stick them together.  Begin by finding the diecast bars under the the Space Probers and flipping them out.  Then, on the MWEs, open the white hatches on the top.  Pay attention to the double-hinge; you need the bottom one to be all the way up so the hatch can lie flat against the cockpit.  Then, rotate the cockpit into the body of the vehicle, exposing those chrome bits on top that look kind of like speakers to me and white ports on the front.  Also, the white square on one side of each MWE will push into it, popping a cube out of the other side and exposing some black molded missile detail (that I suppose could be deployed in solo vehicle mode).


The diecast bars on the Space Propers slide into the white ports we exposed on the MWEs.  This time, those white rectangles under the speaker-looking chrome bits are buttons for locking and releasing them.  Then the cube-shaped engine-looking bits on the sides of the Communications module fit into the spaces we created on the sides of the MWEs when we pushed the missile cubes out, and we've got the Aqua Fighter (Kairugger).  And again, I think the Sea Team has an advantage over their counterparts, because if I ignore the treads I feel like I've seen submersible craft with this sort of shape, making the Aqua Fighter a kind of believable combination for me.  For me, the only issues are when you start bringing in the other teams, because now you've got vehicles that I picture as a (navy) ship, two submarines, and two huge armored transports fighting alongside one-seater jets and helicopters that are just as big.

And that'll wrap it up for tonight.  Tomorrow we'll look at the rest of the vehicles/Ruggers.

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I just had an amazing realization about what is likely accidental continuity.


So there's the lion Voltron episode where Doom builds a fake Voltron and the wreck its shizzle by detaching the arms? And they decide that the next time they build a fake Voltron they're including the separate lions instead of just the giant robot. Right?

And then in Fleet of Doom Lotor shows up with five robeasts that combine to form a bootleg Voltron, complete with "blazing scimitar", and gets his shizzle wrecked anyways. (In fairness, he wasn't counting on fighting two Voltrons. No one should have to fight two Voltrons. Life's just not fair sometimes.)

It really seems like a follow-up on the fake Voltron episode.


That's all.



Edit to ask: Soul of Chogokin Voltron Robeast when? (Never, I presume)


Edited by JB0
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11 hours ago, JB0 said:

Edit to ask: Soul of Chogokin Voltron Robeast when? (Never, I presume)

Do you mean the Fleet of Doom Robeast combiner?  Because I could get behind that.

No clue where I'd put it, but I'd find a way.

In any case, Moggy settled on a display pose for the Voltrons:


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My mom's boss back in the day thought my Matchbox Vehicle Volton was amazing because he was SO BIG!  I went to work with her a couple of days a week in the summer and my toys went with me. LOL. Kept me out of her hair. Really glad I kept it now after all these years to put with the SOC version! 

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Happy Turkey Day, my American peeps (and happy just another Thursday if you live in some other fine country).  What say we give thanks to Bandai for producing GX-88 with a quick look at the Land Team?


We open with the Jet Radar Station (Rugger 11), and... ok, that hatch we flip open on the top does have a dish and a tiny fold-out antenna.  And there are treads on the bottom (which don't seem to roll), so we can presume that it is in fact some kind of vehicle with a radar.  That said, the Jet Radar Station is competing with the Strato Weapons Module for the title of "looks the least like an actual vehicle."


The blue Rotating Personnel Carrier (Rugger 12) and the red Armored Equipment Carrier (Rugger 12) are a case of almost, but not quite.  They have little rubber tires, and with the cockpits on top and the sort of sleek front ends they look pretty cool... at first glance.  But then you start to notice things, like the gaping hole in the back that I wish could have been covered with one of the folding flaps you'd find on the Strato Weapons Module or the Jet Radar Station.  They don't even have painted tail lights like the Multi-Wheeled Explorers.  While they try not to look too much like robot hands, down to having headlights painted onto some knuckles, they're still ultimately robot hands with a large gap running through the middle.  While this could be construed as critique less of GX-88 and more of the original design, after digging through some old screenshots and artwork these vehicles were animated with even more of a wedge-shaped front end and no gap.  Given Bandai's penchant for swappable parts on these SOC releases it's kind of a shame that they didn't include noses for these guys that matched the cartoon and weren't hands at all.


As a kid, my favorite vehicles after the Falcon Fighter Jet were probably these guys, the All-Terrain Space Vehicle and All-Terrain Space Vehicle 2 (Rugger 14 and Rugger 15), and for pretty much the same reason- they're very recognizable as vehicles first and not treads on obvious robot parts.  With their large windshields, the molded doors, chrome grills with headlights, painted tail lights, and four rubber tires they look a lot like something you might have seen someone pitch as a passenger vehicle in the '80s.  I'm not sure that their bumpers were animated quite so prominently, but that seems to be a design element taken from one of the '80s toys.

Of course, if they were like regular cars/SUVs, that'd make the scaling issues with seagoing ships, giant transports, and submarines even worse.


Combining these five is pretty simple.  Flip up the little gray panels on the tops of the All-Terrain Space Vehicles to reveal some c-clips.  There are spots that they can grab on the bottom of the Jet Radar Station.  Just be careful to make sure that the Jet Radar Station is oriented so that the white panels with the slots on them are facing forward.


If you look at the picture showing the back of the Rotating Personnel Carrier you might have noticed a tab sticking out from under the gaping hole on the back.  The Armored Equipment Carrier has one, too.  You might have surmised already that the tabs fit into the slots on the Jet Radar Station to complete the Turbo Terrain Fighter (Rickrugger).  This is my least favorite of the "super" vehicles.  I mean, with the Strato Fighter I can imagine scenarios where you'd carry your aircraft via a large land vehicle, and the Aqua Fighter looks like a submersible vehicle.  But the Turbo Terrain Fighter looks like cars stacked on cars.  Does it drive fast and "punch" things with the robot fists dangling from the front?  Why do they need to stack the cars to drive them when all fifteen of these things are shown to fly through space?

I guess it doesn't really matter.  The point is that it's fun to push the All-Terrain Space Vehicles around on their rolling rubber tires while making engine noises.  And that will tide me over until tomorrow, when we form Voltron.

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4 hours ago, derex3592 said:

Really glad I kept it now after all these years to put with the SOC version! 

Mine had the knee connectors break off, then the chest module basically came apart in my hands.


I kept the chest fighter jet and footcars.

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Alright, it's time to form Voltron!  Form feet and legs!


...which we start doing by opening the hatches and folding the noses up on the Multi-Wheeled Explorers, just like we did to make the Aqua Fighter.  Except this time, you want to remove the diecast antenna and push the red and yellow parts they plug into down into the main body of the vehicles.  Then, on the back of the MWEs, you'll find that you can open them up by pulling the treads and part of the rear hatch away.  The top of the rear hatch folds down inside, then you flip out the gray joint.  That gray joint will slide into the gap on the back of an All-Terrain Space Vehicle.  Once it's in place, push the tires on the Space Vehicles in and then up.  This will make a little square rise up and lock the ankle in place.


The Space Probers connect to the MWEs the same as before, by flipping out the diecast connector and plugging it into the port you revealed when you folded in the MWE noses.  The only real difference is that the noses of the Space Probers collapse for thigh mode.


The Jet Radar Station does some of the most transforming.  The white hatches without the slots fold down and slide inside.  The roof folds open, and inside are some diecast hip joints that you need to fold out before you close the roof back up.  On the other side of the Jet Radar Station the black hatch folds up and slides inside.  The diecast joints you eposed plug into the holes on the noses of the Space Probers.


The antenna on the Communications Module folds up, then collapses into the roof.  Meanwhile, fold in the missiles and close the red arc on the Strato Weapons Module.  On the white panel on the side that doesn't have the indents for the Command Jet Explorer, fold up the white panel and slide it in to reveal a squarish hollow space.  Go back to the Communications Module, and find the cube-shaped engine that can swivel.  That one plugs down into the pelvis.  The other one plugs into the hollow we created on the Strato Weapons Module, finishing the torso.


To make the arms, first make sure the landing gear is folded up, then push out the sides of the Air Recon Helicopters like you did for Strato Fighter Mode.  Then get the Rotating Personnel Carrier and Armored Equipment Carrier and fold their wheels against their undersides.  The instructions tell you to turn the noses, too, but that's optional.  Now, slide the tails of the helicopters into the backs of the carriers, being careful to line up the fins on the helicopters with the grooves.  Then plug the extended sides of the helicopters into the shoulder sockets.


Dock the Command Jet Explorer exactly as you did for the Strato Fighter, with the engine booster thing on the back sinking into the white space on the side of the Strato Weapons Module.  Remember that the red button, now in the center of the chest, is for the locking mechanism Clip the Falcon Fighter jet onto the chest almost the same way you did for Strato Fighter mode, using the clips on the underside to grab onto the white around the center of the chest, but upside down from the way it sat on the Strato Fighter.  The Falcon Fighter Jet's wings can fold down to lay flatter against the chest.  Lastly, using the two nubs, open the panels on the top of the Command Jet Explorer to reveal Voltron's face.



And there we have it, folks... Soul of Chogokin GX-88, aka Voltron I, aka Voltron of the Near Universe, aka Vehicle Voltron, aka Dairugger XV, in all its glory.  If you already have the Soul of Chogokin Lion Voltron you probably know what you're getting here: they're roughly the same height, and like GX-71 GX-88 is covered in paint (I'm especially loving the metallic blue), some tasteful use of chrome, and plenty of diecast.  GX-88 definitely has some heft to him, but I'm surprised to say that it's noticeably lighter than GX-71 (282 grams lighter, or about 20% lighter).  Don't get me wrong, GX-88 is still very hefty (weighing more than even similarly-sized figures from Fans Toys, a company notorious for packing diecast into their figures).  Just surprising.


GX-88 has, on paper, some pretty good articulation.  Unfortunately, despite the weight reduction from GX-71, not all of his joints are quite strong enough.  His head is on a hinged swivel, and the joint extends a bit to give his up/down tilt a little extra clearance, but the tilt is always towards or away from the center of his chest, so as you turn his up/down tilt starts to turn into a sideways tilt.  His shoulders rotate on a soft ratchet, and a hinge inside the helicopter lets him extend his arms sideways almost 90 degrees.  Plus, joints in sockets on the Strato Weapons Module gives him a good forward butterfly joint.  His biceps can swivel, and his ratcheted elbows can bend somewhat under 90 degrees despite being on a double-joint.  The "fingers" on the default hands can open and close, and the wrists can swivel.  Plus, like the neck, the wrist joints can extend to give him some wrist waggle (but don't push too far or the hand will come off).  He's got a soft-ratcheted waist swivel, but the other side of the Communications Module is hinged to allow him to crunch his abs or arch his back.  The roof flaps we opened on the Jet Radar Station are actually hip skirts, and if you open all of his hip skirts he can move his hips forward 90 degrees on a fairly strong ratchet, almost 90 degrees laterally on a too-weak ratchet, but nothing really backward.  His thighs swivel where the Space Propers connect to the diecast joints.  His ratcheted knees can bend 90 degrees, but again the ratchet isn't really strong enough to support the weight of the vehicles below it.  At first it might look like his foot articulation is a little limited, but once again the joint can actually extend.  When it's fully extended GX-88 enjoys some up/down foot tilt and a solid 45 degrees of ankle pivot.  I just wish the hips were a little tighter, because one a lot of surfaces I've found that he wants to start doing the splits in more extreme poses.

Now those of you that read my Transformers reviews know that I usually talk about accessories with the articulation.  You may have also noticed that, aside from the rotors on the helicopters and the antenna for the Multi-Wheeled Explorers, I've left the accessories out of these pictures.  That's because GX-88 has enough accessories that we're going to save the accessories and final thoughts for tomorrow.

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Alright, let's wrap up my look at GX-88 with the accessories.


With all the accessories this comes with, a good place to start would be with the stand.  It's similar to the one that comes with GX-71; it's light blue, some assembly required, and there's a spot on the front for a logo.  A Dairugger XV logo is pre-installed, but just like GX-71 it does come with an alternate Voltron one.  In fact, the logo is the same, but this time it's just a gold outline and black letters instead of solid gold letters.  As with GX-71, there's no place on the stand to store the extra nameplate on the stand, so it'll have to go back int the box with the instructions. The stand itself is also a bit less complicated with none of the drawers that came with GX-71.  Oh, and speaking of GX-71, I get that the stand was supposed to be evocative of the Castle of Lions.  I don't know if this stand is mean to evoke the S.S. Explorer (Rugger Guard), but if it is I'm not feeling it.

Since we've already formed Voltron, right away we can put the three antenna from the Multi-Wheeled Explorers into their spots.


Before we put anything else on, let's quickly flip it over and look at the underside.  You'll find eight pegs there.  I mentioned yesterday that the hands on the Carriers do have fingers that can open, and they can hold at least some of the accessories.  However, you can pull them off and replace them with one of the eight included replacement hands.  There are four left and four right hands, all of them molded in a more humanoid, anime style.  There's a pair of closed fists, a pair of fists for holding things, a pair of mostly open hands, and a pair of hands that are partially closed with a gap between the middle and ring fingers.  Any hands you're not using, including the default Carrier noses, can be stored under the stand.


I can't say that I really recall it, but the un-aerodynamic chunk on the bottom of the Command Jet Explorer that winds up on the back of Voltron's head is, apparently, a weapon.  As such, it can be removed from Voltron's head, and a cap is included to stick on the back of Voltron's head when the weapon is removed.  But, the part you removed from Voltron's head isn't actually designed to be held as a weapon.  Instead, you get a second version, flatter without the connecting bits that go into Voltron's head, with a tab on one side and a hole to insert the translucent effect part.


This "Electromagnetic Whip" can be plugged into either of the mostly-open hands, which have slots for the tab.  And if you're not using them, the whip handle and the cap for the back of Voltron's head sit on the base, behind the antenna.  And yes, if you take the actual bottom of the Command Jet Explorer off and want to put the cap on, the back of Voltron's head can sit where the cap does.  Note that while there are cutouts for them to sit in without sliding around they don't lock in place and will fall off if you tip the stand.


The effect part of the whip fits into a cradle on the back of the the stand.  Under the whip is another cradle, this time for what the manual calls the Shot Arrow.  It's another weapon I don't really remember, but Voltron can hold it with the default or holding-stuff fists.  The white cord between the handle and the tip has a wire so you can kind of pose it, although the tip weighs the wire down.


These are weapons I actually do remember.  The manual refers to them as "Lance (Long)" and "Lance (Short)", but I remember them being called Solar Spears.  One end of each spear is removable to help you work them into Voltron's mostly-closed holding-stuff fists, and even then it feels like it takes a little finagling.  I'll be honest, I didn't check if the default hands can hold them or not, but I'm guessing most of us won't be posing Voltron with them anyway.


I briefly mentioned that the Helicopters came with smaller rotors installed, but you could put bigger ones on them.  All told, this set comes with two small, three-bladed rotors, two large three-bladed rotors, two large two-bladed rotors (which the manual labels as "Kilders) in chrome, then a pair of three-bladed and a pair of two-bladed rotors done in blue with some energy effects (listed as "Spin Cutters").  This is where those half-closed hands with the gaps come in.  Whether you're using the chrome or blue, two-bladed or three, you fit them so one blade runs through the gap and the peg hole in the center fits over a peg on the palm (the same hole fits over a peg on the helicopters, btw).

There's also a bag with four translucent blue parts that have a peg on one end and a hole on the other.  These are adapters for posing the Spin Cutters in flight on a Tamashii Nation Stage Act 4 stand.  There's no storage on the stand for the adapters.


The spears fit into cradles on the opposite side of the rear pylons as the Shot Arrow and Electromagnetic Whip blade.  The smaller spear goes under the longer one.  The front pylons have two small pegs on each side.  This is just enough storage for eight rotors.  If you're doing the math, that means if you want a cartoon-style clean, rotorless Voltron you're short two pegs and can't store them all.  Personally, I put all the big ones on there, and leave the little rotors on Voltron.  If I take Voltron apart I'll swap out the small rotors for the large three-bladed ones.

All of this talk about rotors and pegs reminds me, some of the rotors seem to peg on more snuggly than others.  None are so loose that they'll fall off just by turning them upside down, but some are loose enough that if you turn them upside down and shake them gently they will.


Last but not least, what Voltron doesn't have a Blazing Sword?  The sword is entirely covered in chrome, mostly silver with a gold cross on either side.  It sits on top of the rear pylons when it's not in use.  Voltron can hold it with the holding-stuff hands or the default ones, but it doesn't have any tabs or slots that lock it in place like GX-71 does, so his grip on it is a little looser than I'd like.  It's also, due to the shape of the space in both the default and holding-stuff hands, is always at an angle from his forearm.  This helps facilitate some poses, like the one on the box where he's holding the sword with two hands in front of him, but it's difficult to pose him actually cutting forward.

And now we come to my final thoughts.  With all the wheels, hatches, and other transforming bits I can imagine that the parts count for GX-88 would be greater than GX-71.  But the truth is that GX-71 is heavier.  GX-71 has slightly fewer accessories (it'd have more, if it weren't for the hands), but the accessories that it does have are more elaborate.  GX-88 splits into fifteen vehicles instead of five, but they don't really do much on their own, while the lions have numerous joints and parts just for lion mode that made them fun, articulated toys are their own.  But, at least at at retail, GX-88 is $40 more than GX-71.  $40 might not be a lot when we're already talking $300+, but the thing is GX-88 doesn't feel like a toy that should cost more than GX-71.  So while I felt comfortable saying that GX-71 was absolutely worth the asking price, I almost feel like I need to qualify GX-88's price tag.

Ultimately I'll say this: GX-88 is a very good figure that lives up the reputation Bandai's built with their Soul of Chogokin line.  It's got paint, diecast, and a ton of accessories.  It's got great articulation and plenty of details from both the cartoon and the old Popy toy.  It looks fantastic with GX-71.  If you have any nostalgia for Vehicle Voltron (or Dairugger XV) then chances are good that you'll love this figure, even if it is more than GX-71.  However, if Lion Voltron is your jam and you can barely remember Vehicle Voltron you're probably going to find GX-71 to be more the more enjoyable release.

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I just got my voltron in and I think I got a defect. All reviews I see show gx-88 having ratchet joints on the knees and mines super lose with no ratchet. Can anyone post a picture of behind the knees? 

Edited by VF-Zer0S
Nvm I’m dumb just tranformed it wrong. it’s Perfect man
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One quick tip:  With the Falcon Fighter Jet, the best way to remove it from the Strato Weapons Module is start by removing the clip closest to the Jet’s backside/thrusters.

An easy way to cause this to happen is to push down on the Jet’s canopy, which you’ll probably discover on your own as you try to pose Voltron or re-angle the Jet as a chest piece.

Also, looking back at the forearm cars, I do wish they could have been positioned on Voltron with the canopies was away from the body (instead of always locked facing toward the front).

However, I suspect it was a design compromise, in order to still make the Turbo Terrain Fighter feasible and to not make the elbow connection too complicated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very quick takes

- Good build. Lots of diecast and placed well.
- The articulation is really good; would have liked "true" double joints in the elbows and the backside of the crotch piece to have swing panels like the front to allow for backwards hip swing by default.
- Stupid simple, three minute transformation even hawking the instructions.
- Really good, clean look to it. For having so many vehicles especially.

A lot of the problems I've read between wobbliness, things coming apart, etc. I haven't even had. Not discrediting anyone but from my vantage point it feels like one that has objective things that could be better but those aren't even things that are being focused on vs. potential undeserved flack.

Will get the video review done tonight and posted tomorrow.




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Considering it's 15 vehicles combined into one robot, considering it also has to combine into three separate "super" vehicles, and considering all the articulation points they were still able to design into it, it's amazing that Bandai was able to pull this sucker off.

Two-handed sword poses (with a proper gap between the hands) and wide-legged stances are easy to pull off:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well.....the wife FORGOT about my Voltron in the back closet, so I didn't get to open it up on Christmas Day..soooo yeh..whatever with that. Should have opened it when I freakin got it over a month ago...MOVING ON... I finally got around to unboxing this guy yesterday and had a few hours to savor the experience.  1st impressions... IF when growing up like I did and you had the Matchbox version (still do), your 1st thought is OMG..these vehicles are TINY.  However you quickly get over that initial shock when you start looking closely at the absolutely beautiful paint job and see all the detail work on each individual vehicle. Mine is perfect minus the wheels on my yellow truck foot don't lock in quite as securely as the black truck foot. It's a minor annoyance and doesn't effect anything in the long run.  It is HEAVY when you get Voltron all combined.  Articulation is good if a bit trickier due to the sheer amount of parts that have to work together to accomplish the robot.  Bandai did cheap out on a few things, the screw holes on the blue leg vehicles for example and the fact that their are no closing panels for the back of the hand cars, just a giant hole.  Minor annoyances really. Overall though, it's very, very good.  As others as stated in a lot of video reviews I've watched, this one is not quite to the "epic cool" level of toy (if you want to call it a toy) as the GoLion version, but if Vehicle Voltron is your jam, than this is definitely the crème de le crème of that figure.  

More pics to come later when I have time to get him beside his big brother from the 80's and GoLion SOC.











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This is quite a feat to gaze upon by modeler Oscar Ramos who made both a GoLion and Dairugger XV...out of cardboard...at 2 ft tall...and they transform!

Having transformed the DX versions of both I can especially appreciate all the sliding panels and his engineering ideas where he developed some new takes not found on the DX versions (for ex. Dairugger's forearms can be turned outward and still have normal elbow bend while still featuring 3 helicopter tail fins)



He took some cues from the Miracle version (Space Probers (#7 & 8 transformation), and the flipping roofs for the All Terrain Space Vehicles (#14 & 15) transformations, but perhaps most notably his method did not leave huge gap holes in the back of the arms and feet vehicles.

(note: on the second video the sound is cut due to a rights issue...your speakers are fine;))


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  • 4 months later...

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